Minnesota residents are likely aware that many people find it difficult to consider what happens after they pass away. However, they may be surprised to learn how many lack even a rudimentary estate plan. A recent survey by an online legal services company found that 64 percent of Americans have not made a last will and testament. If these individuals decide to take action and put an estate plan into place, there are common pitfalls that they would be wise to avoid.
Minnesota residents who are involved in planning their estates might be interested in a recent article discussing tax incentives for holding on to different assets. This might be an important issue to consider if a benefactor has to choose an asset to liquidate in order to pay off certain accounts.
Minnesota readers who have followed the story of Robin Williams' death may be interested in the steps the late comedian took for the disposition of his assets. Rather than relying solely on a will, Williams made use of at least one revocable trust as an estate planning instrument. The use of a revocable trust will likely grant Williams' heirs some estate tax benefits while also allowing avoidance of some complications that are common following the deaths of celebrities and other wealthy individuals. Not least among the concerns in a case like this is keeping the wishes of the deceased private. While a will is still generally considered the first and most basic document for estate planning, wills are subject to potentially arduous probate and may be made public during the process.
Minnesota readers might be interested to know about a part of estate planning that many people do not consider frequently. Social media and a person's internet presence has become very important, and certain difficulties might arise if a person does not consider provisions regarding those accounts during estate planning. There have been many cases where people have died unexpectedly and their families have been denied access to their email, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
According to a recent article, Minnesota residents may want to think carefully before forming an irrevocable trust. One of the primary differences between an irrevocable trust and a revocable trust is the ease or difficulty involved in making changes to the structure of the instrument. In the case of an irrevocable trust, for example, all trustees, beneficiaries and other parties involved must agree to changes before they can be formalized. In case of a revocable trust, an older version can be revoked in favor of a new trust as often as desired.
More individuals are single and growing older without children. In these circumstances deciding where one's estate should be distributed may be more complicated. This person may also need to make choices concerning the person they will trust to make certain their wishes concerning the distribution are fulfilled.
Care needs to be taken to minimize the amount of taxes that will be paid either through gifting or inheritance. Gifting is one of a number of tax exemptions individuals can use to reduce the amount of estate taxes.
Deciding whether one should set up a will or a trust for particular estate planning purposes is dependent upon the circumstances. Preparing a will can be necessary to name beneficiaries, set up guardianships for minor children or even create a trust for incapacitated individuals.
Mistakes made during the estate planning process can prove to be costly. Even when individuals have consulted with an attorney in the drafting of a trust or will, they may want to give these documents another look when they are moving to another state. There may be additional state laws in the new location that will need to be met for the document to still serve its intended purpose.
As older individuals are becoming increasingly more active, there are also differing strategies to shelter a certain amount of assets from being placed into probate. Many individuals may also face a number of challenges that may force them to move from the home and be forced to live on more limited means. What often results are couples owning property in more than one state that will have to be dealt with in some manner should an individual pass away.